President Saakashvili said on May 21, that the upcoming local elections should be “exemplary” as they have huge importance for country’s security.
“I think that we, as the best organized and leading political force in Georgia, have a double responsibility,” Saakashvili said in televised remarks made at a meeting with lawmakers from his ruling National Movement party.
“The first is to maintain the existing course of reforms – despite all difficulties, despite the fact that a new wave of economic crisis is raging in the world – and to bring the launched work to the end. And the second is to hold exemplary elections so that nobody has a reason to put a justified blame on us, as [these local elections] have a great internal and external political importance in terms of our security,” he said.
“I think that many steps were made forward by the election commission recently. There is unimaginable accessibility to media outlets. I do not know any election campaigns in many places of the world where all parties can talk on all TV channels for so many hours, where all parties can put their ads on all TV channels, including unprofitably for these channels, and of course, it has not remained unnoticed, including for foreign observers.”
He criticized opposition for making, as he said, unrealistic election promises of “cosmic scales”.
“I want to call on various political forces for more responsibility. I no not mean those people, who are openly linked with Georgia’s enemy, with the occupant of the Georgian territory… Calling them for responsibility is not our business; I think the society will rule its verdict against them,” Saakashvili said. “I am talking about those political forces, who have ambitions that they are participants of Georgia’s internal political processes, who act in favor of the country’s interests and observe the rules of the game.”
“We also were in the opposition and you remember that our promises were quite minimalistic because we were promising only what we thought would be easy to fulfill. And you know that more has been done then we promised, but our [the ruling party’s election campaign] slogan says ‘a lot remains to be done’.”
“When [politicians] are in panic because of their decreasing ratings and when they promise everything – probably they will soon even promise a trip to the Mars and the Moon – it goes beyond limits. They promise free healthcare, free medicines, free food, free travel, free life – a highest level of communism,” Saakashvili said.
“Of course, people live in hardship, but no one should think that it is easy to fool people if they live in hardship. We have many poor people but we really do not have uninformed society. Why do they think that our people is so naïve that they will swallow these [promises].”
“The main political capital of the National Movement, accumulated over these years, is that we will never give empty promises,” he continued. “It’s Better to promise less and fulfill more. We should never tell a lie. The key political culture, which I think, the National Movement has established in Georgia… is that we always say the truth or at least we do not tell a lie. Nobody should ever be able to turn a lie into a tool of making politics.”
In an apparent reference to Russia, Saakashvili said that “one force and the leadership of one country wants to ruin Georgia.”
“But despite of these attempts we will hold these elections in an organized way and calmly. We all know that some people will definitely start shouting in advance that the elections were rigged,” he said.
“We have made election administrations transparent, media outlets and televisions have become completely available. So, let us make the election day process transparent for everybody.”
He also said it was a positive trend that “more professional, business-like” political discussions were ongoing ahead of the elections.
“No radicalism is fashionable among politicians,” he said. “It proves that the society has developed and gained experience.”